Mightier than the Sword

Hi

It’s been a while. I know that. I’ve wanted to write. I’ve even tried to, but something is holding me back. And the longer I leave it the harder it gets.

I don’t know. It’s not like there hasn’t been stuff going on I could have written about. There’s been all sorts. It just doesn’t seem interesting enough. I don’t know, I think I’m experiencing something of a burnout. Creatively, emotionally, everythingly. I get through the day. I celebrate what I can about Oscar’s achievements, if we’re all still alive at the end of the day I class that as a success. Everything else just seems to fade into the background.

And then it gets that there’s so much I could write about, that I don’t know where to start. Like for example four days ago was my four year blogging anniversary. FOUR YEARS! I’ve celebrated every other ‘year’ milestone, but this year came and went without me really noticing. I should have at least acknowledged it. But as I hadn’t written for two months, I didn’t feel I had the right. I mean what’s that all about? I take a two month hiatus and all of a sudden my four years worth of back catalogue (that’s 352 posts if you’re interested), no longer means anything? Really?

I used to be so proud of my work, and in some respects I still am. It just doesn’t feel enough anymore. Good enough, solid enough, worthy enough. 80,000 views in four years really isn’t that much. I see new bloggers getting that in their first year, shit in their first six months if they’re savvy. What is it they say; comparison is the thief of joy? Hmmm.

So, if you wondered where I was, there you go. I was here, just having some sort of creative crisis. Putting so much pressure of myself to write brilliant posts that I write nothing at all. So do I give it up? And if I do, what’s left for just me? But if I keep going, I think I need to redefine my relationship with my blog. I never set out to be a blogger and I think that might be my problem. I care more about how things scan, and how interesting the words I write are, than how many people they’ll reach or their SEO value. because you see I think I’ve figured something out.

I’m not a blogger, I’m a writer.

And if I just start writing again, perhaps I’ll find my new place, my new creative identity. I just need to pick up that pen….

 

 

 

 

Christmas Blogger Gift Swap

Since becoming a Stay at Home Mum I’ve had some great experiences, and I’m happy doing what I do. But sometimes I really miss some of the aspects of working in an office. Things you wouldn’t necessarily consider. Things like the banter, the coffee round (no one gets me coffee here, except me!) and at this time of year, Secret Santa. I love a Secret Santa. I’ve had some great gifts in the past and my favourite storyline in The Office (both UK and US) revolves around a Secret Santa. So when I saw a post detailing a UK blogger Gift Swap, I was like a kid in a candy store. Dressed as an elf. Happy and Christmassy!

It’s my way of participating in a Secret Santa, with people who do what I do. And maybe you’d like to join in?

The beautiful Viola, over at apieceoifviola has set it up and is organising it all and bless her for doing so!

So what’s the deal?

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Christmas Blogger Gift Swap (UK only)

An invitation to all bloggers, regardless of whereabouts you live in the UK, regardless of how big or small your blog is, and regardless of what ‘type’ of blog you have, to join in and get involved!

What is this all about?
The idea behind this event is to basically get bloggers interacting which each other during the festive season and to do a gift swap. It’s a chance to get to know others and discover a variety of other amazing blogs out there! You’ll be paired with a fellow blogger at the beginning of December where you’ll have a short period to get to know them before you have to send them some lovely Christmas gifts.

But don’t worry:
You don’t have to spend a massive amount of money if you don’t want to. Heck, you could even send homemade gifts (they are said to come from the heart) and are just as good! You and your partner can both decide a budget if you want to, but essentially it’s your choice.

How do I get involved?
Well, there are 3 simple, easy steps:

  1. Fill out the Google form here and wait for a confirmation email from Viola.
  2. Write a blog post about this event within 3 days of receiving confirmation so that we can get as many bloggers involved as possible!
  3. Once paired up, get to know your fellow blogger, buy their gifts and send them off!

Rules
Here are the following dates for this swap:

  • November 28th: Deadline for completing the submission form.
  • December 1st: Find out your blogger pair, yay!
  • By December 17th: Send off gifts to your blogger pair đŸ™‚

In order to take part, you must:

  • Fill in the Google form document – here’s the link again.
  • Write a blog post about this event within 3 days of receiving confirmation.
  • Send a couple of nice gifts to your paired blogger by December 17th.
  • Write a post about your gifts (must include photos) after you have received them.
  • Send Viola links to all of your blog posts!

You can contact Viola on Twitter & Instagram (@violahelen_) or email her at apieceofviola@gmail.com. You can also use the hashtag #apovgiftswap on Twitter or Instagram to connect with others!

I am so excited to find out who I’m paired with and get my Christmas Gift Swap mojo working!

If you’re any kind of blogger, you’re in the UK and you want to join in, then come on – what are you waiting for!!!

You never know you might get paired with me! And I buy great gifts đŸ˜‰

xx

 

One Lovely Blog Award

Guess what? I’ve only gone and been nominated as a One Lovely Blog! I know right?! How cool is that? I’ve seen others be nominated before and I’m so pleased to be included *blushes ever so slightly*. So what the dickens is it?

“The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by bloggers for newer or up-and-coming fellow bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines. These are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog”

So without further ado, I hereby accept my One Lovely Blog award.

I’d like to say thank you so much to Chelsea over at Mom Outside the Norm for the nomination. It was completely unexpected and I was very touched, so THANK YOU CHELSEA!

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Logo. Added. Boom! I’m on a roll here!

Oo the tricky bit. 7 facts about me. Hmm I did write a post a year ago with many interesting (hahahaha!) facts about me. So I guess I should think of some different ones. Hmmm let me see. OK how about this:

  1. I really dislike my carrots being cut into rounds. I much prefer batons. I have no idea why this could possibly be the case!
  2. I once bleached my dark brunette hair with an entire bottle of “Sun In” (pure peroxide bleach you probably can’t even buy any more). I loved it at the time. It then took two long years to grow it all out!
  3. I don’t really like mice, but I frigging hate rats. Even your cute pet rat. I promise, holding it is not going to change my mind. I tried it. It didn’t work!
  4. I had a Tamagotchi the first time round (’97). I called him Sydney and kept him alive for about 4 days. I killed the next one on purpose because he kept waking me up at night.
  5. I once met Jamie Oliver on a flight to Dallas and we had a chat in the queue for Homeland Security. He was unbelievably sweet and asked why we were in the States and what we had planned. He was on his way to Albuquerque to film for Jamie’s America.
  6. I’ve been to the top of Mount Sinai and have seen the dawn break over the desert. It so wasn’t worth it. Apart from the assent nearly killing me, the view was ruined by other people and a lack of respect. Although I guess at least I can say I did it.
  7. I don’t read even a tiny bit as much as I used to. I have three books on the go. I have had since before I had Oscar. They are all factual and the titles are Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater, Taste: The Story of Britain Through it’s Cooking and Freakonomics

There you go. Bet you didn’t know that!

And the final part, the 15 ‘lovely’ bloggers I admire and want to nominate. And they are (in no particular order):

  1. The Pintrested Parent – Crafting, cooking & learning through inspiration with a side order of real life
  2. Shannonagains – Californian in London, Mother to ‘Pumpkin’, writing about parenting
  3. Story Time with John – Sharing the tales of his travels, trying to turn frowns upside down!
  4. Story Shucker – a blog full of humorous and poignant observations
  5. Losing 100lb Plus – struggles with being a mom and trying to lose weight
  6. Mama and More – Life style and yoga through her eyes and more!
  7. Infinity and IVF – One family’s journey through the IVF process
  8. The Mother of All Autism Challenges – One mum’s quest to accept and adapt to caring for a child on the spectrum
  9. The Girl in the Little Black Dress – 17 year old Natalie, eye for the detail in fashion and life way beyond her years
  10. Ctl+Alt+Mum – Experiments in (Actual) Motherhood
  11. The Plant Strong Vegan – Food, photography and life, the vegan way
  12. Making Memories in the Chaos – A stay at home mum sharing life with her 3 bubbas
  13. Small Time Mum – Blogging about motherhood; the madness and muddles it can bring
  14. Misplaced Brit – Expat British Mama now living and raising her family in Sweden
  15. Slimming World is the Answer – One girl’s journey to lose weight and start a family

Et voila! That’s a real mixture. Some obvious, some not so obvious, but all fab. I urge you to check them all out!

I’d would also like to thank the bloggers above for their time and energy. I know how hard it can be to keep dragging yourself to the PC, to keep writing, to keep sharing; but I’m so glad that you do. Thank you.

I can’t wait to see who you nominate!

Have a ‘lovely’ day

xxx